2022 Topps Chrome Baseball was released on September 16, 2022. For the following three days, buyers chased five SPs that were supposedly inserted into boxes only to come up empty handed. The five SPs are cards 221-225: Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez, Spencer Torkelson, Hunter Greene, and CJ Abrams respectively. Apparently, buyers were upset because the checklist, which featured cards 221-225, was issued prior to Topps’ statement. It got so bad that collectors began using hashtags like “CollectFail” and “SSP Watch.” After some days with zero appearances, collectors began to wonder if the SPs were even included in boxes.
Late Monday night, 9/19, Topps issued the following statement via social media:
The SPs weren’t meant to be part of the set but added later in an effort to stimulate demand. This scheduling latency was likely the cause for the miscommunication during production, which led to the issue.
The production cycle is made up of a series of deadlines, which in manufacturing we call milestones. If information isn’t carried over from one milestone to another, feedback loops are created to mitigate errors. In this particular case, someone was late in their delivery of information about SPs to the next person in the production cycle. While uncommon, this sort of thing does happen.
Anyway, since it’s now made known that no SPs were issued in hobby boxes, prices have been impacted. Here’s how all box prices have changed since the statement was issued:
|Box Type||Before Statement||After Statement|
There are several issues with the Silver Packs thing. Once those Silver Packs are issued to sellers and breakers, all that’s required to get them to follow through on Topps’ intention to have those entities get those packs to buyers is ethics. Unfortunately, in the sports card community, ethics isn’t mainstream across the board.
Not only are priced expected to continue to drop but consumer confidence has also decreased. Many collectors feel like they’ll never get those Silver Packs. Some think breakers will just line them, sellers will re-sell them, and others will just keep them for themselves. Then there’s the issue of shop owners and other third parties who’ve sold boxes of 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball. The layers of problems here are thick. This issue has upset a lot of buyers and Topps will undoubtedly lose some amount of market share at least temporarily as a result. Those who bought boxes of 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball prior to the Topps statement feel they’re now sitting on dead stock. And many of those who are still waiting to receive online order are quickly scrambling to cancel them.
With issues like this, it’s difficult to identify the best solution that optimally serves everyone. The Silver Packs thing is likely the best option but it’s the act of getting them to the end customer that poses the biggest issue. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect solution here but Topps is doing the best it can to make things right and we should respect that. Perfection isn’t reality.
All that aside, 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball is actually quite a nice product. Even if there are no SPs in hobby boxes, buyers still have chances to pull some really great cards.
To see what’s currently on eBay from 2022 Topps Chrome, click here.
Even those sellers who ARE ethical won’t necessarily have records of who purchased those boxes. If you do mail order, you probably will (although then Topps is presumably expecting you to pay postage), but if you sell in a store or at card shows, not so much.
But you’re correct that sometimes there’s just nothing to be done about that sort of thing. After all, giving them away more widely would defeat the purpose of the SSPs anyway.
The intended outcome is certainly going to be difficult to achieve but I don’t see a more superior alternative to this method of amelioration.